|Recording information: Bank Atlantic Center, Ft. Laud., FL (10/09/2006); Britannia Row Studios, London, UK (10/09/2006); Icp Studios, Brussels, Belgium (10/09/2006); Madison Square Garden, New York, NY (10/09/2006); Nightbird Studios, Los Angeles, CA (10/09/2006); SARM Studios, London, UK (10/09/2006); Sentir Estudis, Barcelona, Spain (10/09/2006); Studio 2, Slovak Radio, Bratislava, Slovakia (10/09/2006); Tonopro Studios, Barcelona, Spain (10/09/2006); Verizon Center, Washington D.C. (10/09/2006).
|You have to hand it to Il Divo, or rather, black-fitted T-shirt aficionado Simon Cowell. The internationally successful operatic pop quartet and their internationally successful manager/creator know how to keep things in their (luxuriously decorated) wheelhouse. A Musical Affair, the group's sixth studio album, finds tenor Urs Buhler (Switzerland), baritone Carlos Marin (Spain), pop artist Sebastien Izambard (France), and tenor David Miller (United States) applying their considerable vocal prowess' to some of Broadway's biggest set-pieces -- a limited run of performances at The Marquis Theater with special guest Heather Headley will accompany the release. That alone would have won them favor with their legions of fans, but they've gone and sweetened the pot by bringing in duet partners like Kristin Chenoweth ("All I Ask of You" from Phantom of the Opera), Nicole Scherzinger ("Memory" from Cats), the aforementioned Headley ("Can You Feel the Love Tonight" from the Lion King), Michael Ball ("Love Changes Everything" from Aspects of Love), and Barbara Streisand ("Music of the Night" from Phantom of the Opera), the latter of which is the only track that wasn't recorded specifically for the project, having been issued previously on Streisand's 2006 Live in Concert album (with Il Divo). As has been the case with previous Il Divo outings, the arrangements, musicianship, and vocal performances on A Musical Affair are all strong, and the selections are on par with the group's penchant for sticking with the familiar, even as they branch out from their opera/holiday music/pop balladry comfort zone. ~ James Christopher Monger